/Switzerland gets new trade association to boost blockchain use in capital markets

Switzerland gets new trade association to boost blockchain use in capital markets

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Leading Swiss financial, technological, academic and legal industry players have come together to form a new associative body – the Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) – to facilitate the use of blockchain technology in financial markets.

CMTA has been established by Lenz & Staehelin, Switzerland’s largest law firm; Swissquote Bank Ltd, the Swiss leader in online banking; and Temenos, a Swiss market leader in banking software, as a not-for-profit, non-governmental association, capable of assuming an independent role as standard-setter. It has its registered office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jacques Iffland, CMTA’s chair, and partner at Lenz & Staehelin, commented on the company’s establishment:

“The blockchain technology has the potential to reduce the complexity of the capital markets system and lower the barrier of entry for start-ups. The current lack of legal certainty is slowing – and potentially compromising – its development in this field. By defining a set of industry-supported, open standards, the CMTA aims to facilitate access to funding for businesses, ultimately contributing to value creation throughout the economy.”

The CMTA has reportedly been established as a not-for-profit, non-governmental association, with leading companies from across different industry sectors on its committee. The founding parties are active in different areas, and each of them pursues their own purposes with the integration of blockchain.

Switzerland has long been attracting attention as a crypto and blockchain-friendly country thanks to the “Crypto Valley,” a center of fintech, blockchain, and digital currency activity in the canton of Zug.

The Swiss city of Zug announced it will conduct a blockchain-powered trial municipal vote this summer. The upcoming trial vote will implement the city’s digital ID (eID) system that was launched in November 2017. The system will allow citizens to vote via their mobile devices.

According to the official release, the CMTA will work towards creating open standards and toolkits that can be used by new or established companies, businesses and start-ups to access funding and raise capital securely and efficiently, using new technologies and leveraging digitalisation. The website describes CMTA as:

“An independent association formed by leading actors from Switzerland’s financial, technological and legal sectors to create common standards around issuing, distributing and trading securities in the form of tokens using the distributed ledger technology.”